Windy City Organics and Prop 65
At Windy City Organics our mission has always been to craft the most delicious, healthiest, and most nutrient-dense organic food products possible. It is not simply our obligation as a food manufacturer, but rather the very core of what we do, to create superfood products that are healthy and safe.
If you've recently received our superfood products with a warning sticker on them which states: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm." - you are likely concerned, wondering why your healthy superfood product has such an alarming warning label.
In 1986 the state of California established the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act - known as Proposition 65. This act established strict safety standards for over 800 various chemicals, metals, and compounds which have been linked to cancer or reproductive harm. Certain food products, such as cacao, goji berries, maca powder, and sea vegetables, have been found to contain varying levels of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Under Proposition 65 as it currently stands, there is no differentiation between heavy metals found naturally within the soil (due to such variables as the presence of volcanic ash, especially related to cacao which is often grown near volcanic activity, and regional environmental and climatic variations), and heavy metals that have been introduced to a region in an unnatural way due to industrial pollution by man.
We understand the seriousness and concern surrounding the issue of heavy metals, and the risk that a certain degree of exposure poses to ones health, however, we also recognize the fact that plants - by their nature - take on minerals, metals, and compounds found naturally within the soil. One can not address the issue of heavy metals in our food supply without also noting this fact.
Our ingredients are 100% certified organic (meaning grown and processed without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or non-organic chemicals). We require all ingredients which pass through our facility, and are utilized within our manufacturing practices, to have thorough testing for contaminants which include heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and lead. Cacao is one the main ingredients emphasized as potentially contaminated under Prop 65. Recent test results provided by our supplier have shown that the heavy metal content within our cacao, including cadmium, is exceptionally low, far below the Maximum Allowable Dose Level instated by the OEHHA.
In regards to the other ingredients involved with Prop 65, mainly goji berries, maca powder, and sea vegetables, the proposition does not take into consideration products which have been tested for heavy metals, and have proven to be below OEHHA safety standards. There is a wide range of growing conditions involved with ingredients of all kinds, one of the biggest factors being whether the foods are grown organically or not, and again, we require all of our USDA certified organic ingredients to be tested for contaminants such as heavy metals.
Beyond being USDA Certified Organic, we also maintain optimal scores on our annual GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification, and comply with all food safety and health regulations on both local and state levels. While we do not add chemicals to any of our products, we still take all of the appropriate steps and precautions to ensure our products and ingredients are thoroughly tested for the presence of chemicals and heavy metals so that we can assure our staff, community, customers, and all other stakeholders, of their absolute safety.
OEHHA on cadmium:
The World Health Organization on cadmium:
The Attorney General of California's statement about naturally occurring metals in cacao products:
The FDA does testing for elements found in common foods - here is a report: